Water availability at Chiwenga clinic has improved maternal care, bringing to reality the adage that water is life.

Imagine the pains mothers experience when giving birth. Now imagine having to pump water to wash your baby hours after delivery and for 30 minutes nothing comes out. Such is the horrific experience Noster Shereni went through when she gave birth last year.

It’s an experience women of child-bearing age in the semi-arid Muzarabani region dread.

“I gave birth around 10pm but had to wait to bath the next day. I had to come and pump the water for myself at this borehole and the water wasn’t coming out. The baby had only been wiped and also needed a bath,” she said.

To alleviate the water shortages at Chiwenga Clinic Red Cross Zimbabwe drilled a new borehole and installed a piped water system.

Another was installed at Chiwenga Primary School to benefit 800 students and the surrounding community.

“We have learnt that we must move away from carrying out meaningless projects to those of high impact. The community must tell us what they want,” said Red Cross Zimbabwe Secretary General Maxwell Phiri.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Cde Monica Mavhunga says the government is grateful for such initiatives which complement its own efforts and improve community welfare, particularly of women and children.

“I applaud your initiative for improving the lives of people, especially as a mother who appreciates the experience of child birth. Fabiness Shaiwa of Nyaviri village who dreaded child birth as she had to leave hospital the day she delivered her first baby now looks forward to having another, thanks to the piped water scheme,” said Cde Mavhunga.

In a country with a high maternal mortality rate of 614 per every 100 000 live births as at 2017, the adage water is life now reflects the reality.